It is no longer news that the presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has been declared the winner of February 25 election and issued a certificate as president elect. His victory is spectacular in many respect because it is one of the closest, free, peaceful and transparent presidential elections ever history of Nigeria.
This hard fought victory wouldn’t have been possible without the contributions of many stakeholders, grassroots supporters, party leaders and members who cannot be mentioned exhaustively here. But what is true is that the role they played to ensure Tinubu’s victory cannot be over emphasised. One of the silent contributors to the presidential success of Tinubu/Kashim Shettima ticket is undeniably Prince Shuaib Abubakar Audu, the scion of the late Prince Abubakar Audu’s political dynasty.
Exuding infectious passion spiced with the abiding admiration of the person and politics of Tinubu, coupled with his leadership acumen, the young Shuaib saw the presidential quest of one of his late father’s political friend and mentor as an opportunity to invest in the leadership recruitment process of the country. He saw the opportunity as one he has to seize with his two hands not because of what he would eventually get for self but in supporting a candidate who represents the renewed hope he has always clamoured for. It was also an opportunity to support both morally and financially a candidate who has all it takes to entrench a new political dispensation where the people matter.
With the victory of Tinubu in the 2023 presidential election, those who know the role and contributions of this young man aspiring to be the governor of Kogi state, should beat their chest and applaud one of their very own who now has the sense of entitlement for accomplishing the task. Shuaib Audu blazed the trail in mobilising his people and supporting the candidature of Tinubu with funds channelled towards making his campaign effectively executed. Shuaib, an executive director with Stanbic IBTC, is a young man who realised quite early that many achievers like Tinubu suffer worst privations. So, he put up defenses in the scheming to beat the most resourceful but equally ambitious competition and removing all the seeming insurmountable hurdles in their way. They need to be supported as this will end up generating a world of ideas and ingenuity that delectably take society to greater heights. This can be taken as the reason for his support for the presidential ambition of Tinubu.
Some may want to know which area of support Shuaib Abubakar Audu made in his little way to make the victory of Bola Tinubu possible.The following are some of his interventions:
He accepted appointment into the Finance Committee of the APC,PCC; donated N30 million cash to the crowd funding App through Hon. Wale Edun (Director of Finance, PCC); first person to donate two buses to the campaign even before the primaries valued at over N10 million; donated relief materials to flood victims on behalf of Bola Tinubu valued at over N20 million all by himself.
He also mobilized thousands of Prince Abubakar Audu’s supporters/leaders as well as his own supporters for the Tinubu/Shettima rally in Kogi state on February 8, 2023 and nationwide valued at over N20 million; delivered his polling unit, ward, LG, his senatorial district, and the state for the Asiwaju; printed T-shirts and face caps throughout the campaign valued at over N5 million.
He drilled boreholes, built schools, provided vocational training and funding for market women, etc. which endeared Tinubu to the people that enabled him effectively sell Tinubu to the electorate of Kogi state valued in excess of N30 million.
We can say with all sense of responsibility that Shuaib has spent in excess of N150 million supporting the Bola Tinubu/Kashim Shettima presidential project to the glory of God. Many may also want to ask why was he so passionate about Asiwaju becoming the president of the country by being the leading light of contributors from Kogi state even though he is not occupying any political office at the moment? The reasons are not far fetched or hard to decipher.
Although he is not occupying any political office at the moment, Shuaib has over the years learnt a lesson from his father that in politics he should put his hands where his heart is and this has made him carve a niche for himself as one of the very few politicians who voluntarily support causes that are greater than them. The presidential project of Asiwaju, to him, is worth propagating because of his transformative achievements over the years which he feels must be supported by public spirited individuals for the good of society.
Shuaib was motivated to support the presidential quest of Tinubu for gain. Not one to chicken out of supporting any worthy cause, he stood still like an Iroko weathering the storm with the candidate. And because of his belief in the presidential project, the campaign metamorphosed into one of the most formidable and trail blazing campaigns ever organised in the country.
Today, many are celebrating the victory of Tinubu, but we should also celebrate the heroes of this victory like Shuaib Abubakar Audu. His nerve and courage stand him out of the pack of Tinubu’s supporters. In many ways than one, this risk taking and goal getting politician cum banker, philanthropist and social crusader, epitomises the virtues and qualities that underscore the victory of Tinubu.This is because he never hesitates to plunge when he sees a great potential and this made him to plunge into the Tinubu venture for the good of all which made the collective victory possible.
Thanks for your support for Bola Tinubu, the president-elect of Nigeria, Shuaib Abubakar Audu. History will never forget you because you have come through. And though young, you already have left and indelible mark in the sands of time by your support for Tinubu.
Musa writes from Abuja.